NEW YORK — Given that the
Key word: Rebounding.
The Bulls surrendered 17 offensive rebounds and allowed the Nets to pile up a 24-12 edge in second-chance points, both areas the Bulls typically dominate.
"We got our asses kicked," Joakim Noh said. "They were more physical than us. We're not happy about that."
Deron Williams took over the third quarter,
There were nervous moments. The Bulls pulled within 85-84 with 8 minutes, 15 seconds left on
Lopez, steady all game with 28 points and 10 rebounds, then sneaked behind Noah for a dunk and three-point play with 4:01 left for a 98-90 advantage.
The Bulls, who could be without
"Right from the start, I knew they were reacting to the ball quicker than we were," coach
"We made a lot of mental mistakes," Butler said. "We didn't get to loose balls. We didn't rebound. We didn't execute. On the defensive end, we made mistakes we don't normally make. It's very correctable."
Thibodeau likes to talk about how Hinrich keeps everybody in rhythm. And while Robinson had a solid stat line in the box score — eight assists and three turnovers in over 43 minutes —
"I didn't," Boozer said, when told he didn't get many attempts. "We do it as a team. We do it collectively. It's not a one-man show. We do everything as a group, five-man offense, five-man defense. We'll watch the tape, make the corrections and be ready for Game 6."
Boozer, for one, is confident the Bulls will rebound figuratively since they didn't do so literally. Only Boozer with 10 boards and Deng with eight showed up on the glass. Noah had four rebounds in just over 28 minutes.
"We're one of those teams that when we get hit, we hit back," Boozer said. "We'll be ready for the next one."